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Public Safety's Apathy about Security Risks on Campus

By Pooja Kumbhar, Columnist

As students of Hofstra University, we not only attend this college for its compatible education, but also for its ensuring security. At all times we want to feel safe and carry on knowing that the Public Safety officers are doing their part in keeping the environment secure -- the best possible place to endure learning. There is a sort of trust involved when one chooses this university, making it theirs. Especially when paying such high tuitions, certain precautions and measures are just expected out of it.

In a recent account, my iPod Touch was stolen from the main floor of the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library. I took a few tries to search back and forth between Public Safety and the front desk of the library to see if anyone found or returned it. A week went by and no one did. So I headed over to Public Safety once again, but this time to request a camera check. Instead, I came to find out an alarming truth: we have no cameras on the first floor of the library! Not only that, but none of the 11 floors of our large library has a camera! At least that is what I have been told by a Public Safety officer. When asked about where cameras are located around campus for follow-up inquiries, it was said that such information was not allowed to be given out.

After I was told that there are no cameras in the library, I decided to file a report in the least. In a sarcastic ridiculing manner, the Public Safety officer said to me, "We're not going to go out of our way to look for your iPod." That statement confused me; isn't the whole point of filing a report for Public Safety to be able to investigate on it and check general areas? I asked what the report was for then, and again in a rude manner I was told it was just to keep it in their records. The Public Safety officer seemed very unwilling to help. This is irritating for a common student to know that there is no higher authority that they can rely on in times of need. Also, the Public Safety's lack of care allows for the wrongdoer to continue stealing around campus going unpunished. It is unfair and should not be promoted by the authority of our campus.

It is also great to know that all the study rooms in the library that students can reserve can be and could have already been misused for sex, drugs, and other unmonitored activities. How comforting! During finals week, more than half the student body spends their time in the library, which is open for 24 hours. This is a great tool to utilize, and it is one of those things that make a Hofstra student proud, but at the same time many outsiders take advantage of this opportunity. Without cameras to monitor who walks in and out, or any required student ID check in - we leave an open leeway for crime to take place.

In another incident during fall semester 2012, sophomore Mishal Pahrand had her laptop stolen from her car from the Berliner parking lot. When confronting Public Safety about the issue, she was told that there are no cameras in any of the parking lots, and that the only building that had a camera was Monroe Hall. She says to have also been told that they were working on placing cameras around campus -- then where does half our money go if security and protection wasn't already one of the top priorities?

It is disappointing to know that anything could go on at Hofstra University, and there is nothing we could do to backtrack and uncover the truth. The big question lies in two important factors: the sincerity of the officers we deem protection from, and the concern of whether we are actually as safe as we think we are around campus.

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